In my life I have never came across a person who has succeeded in explaining why it is considered so wrong to farm animals for their fur, yet acceptable to farm them for their meat, or why the wearing of fur coats is so hideous compared with the wearing of leather jackets or bags.
Just like many of my colleagues I know that I am in a business, which some think is rude to even mention. People are now used to hearing so much opposition to the trade, that they quite easily see anyone working in fur as some sort of pariah.
I, personally, find it surprising. As much as some might think that the time of fur is really gone, it’s simply not the case.
Wealthy elders of course remember wearing fur and there is a whole generation of youngsters who inherited fur from their families or bought it in charity shops. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
With an estimated 67% of high-end fashion collections featuring the natural fur on catwalks, it still freaks people out to meet someone working for or supporting the fur trade. It makes me wonder how people see us. Are we seen as undertakers? Or even killers?
When I meet someone for the first time and they ask me about my job it usually gets a little awkward when I come upfront with the position that I hold. Lots of people just don’t get it.
The thought of it would disquiet many, though we know it is respectable business and in demand.
For some reason there is an assumed element of guilt in the fur trade. Fur farmers, furriers and sector workers are somehow assumed to be heartless people. Disney and Hollywood have even created a demonology for such people e.g. Cruella De Ville.
It just doesn’t marry up with my experience. It’s fine for people to believe that animals should not be used by humans. But why would someone attack the fur trade so viciously, when on the basis of animal welfare it compares favourably with keeping cows for milk, hunting fox or slaughtering pigs for bacon.
I get that most animal production is undertaken for human pleasure and not human need. But what makes it more acceptable to shout at a furrier than at a butcher?
Sometimes I wish people could just leave the fur industry alone, or at least learn more about it. They would be surprised how much hard work goes into it. I can assure you, the fur industry should have no harder case to argue than any other trade using animal products.
Fur farmers and fur sector workers dedicate their whole lives to caring for animals, yet animal rights activists are trying to squeeze their freedom to do what they love.
As far as I can see, a lot of people who are against the fur trade eat meat. Hypocritical enough, but what makes things even worse is that they are attempting to get working people out of their beloved business. I am pretty sure animal rights activists wouldn’t dare putting bankers or nurses out of their jobs, but why would they do it to trappers, farming families or craftspeople? It’s so unfair.
Fur means different things in different cultures. For some it’s a way to keep warm but for many others they depend on the fur sector to put food on their tables.
So next time you attack the fur industry, think, is there really a need to attack something you know so little about.